Simcoe County is gearing up for their Homeless Enumeration project next week (April 24-26), in partnership with Alliance to End Homelessness and United Way Simcoe Muskoka.

The 2018 Point-in-Time Count invites volunteers to count and understand people experiencing homelessness in the county. They will also be able to add anyone interested onto a prioritized list for housing and outreach services.

The teams will visit pre-determined locations (indoor and outdoor) identified as having higher populations of people suffering from a lack of adequate housing. They will be surveyed at all hours of the day and night, which will likely result in more people being reached.

“Our goal is to end homelessness in Simcoe County,” reads a statement on the county’s website

Well, they are not alone in this goal as Redwood Park Communities have stepped up (in partnership with the Salvation Army) to construct a two-storey building providing 12 two-bedroom units to families in crisis.

The complex, set to be completed in 2019, will also have a commercial kitchen and great room for tenants to congregate in.

This is all part of their Hope through Housing campaign that even features the podcast miniseries, Stories Without a Home. Episodes run 10 minutes each and portray local (Simcoe County) residents sharing their personal stories of homelessness.

“Our goal with this campaign is to create much needed housing and to continue building safe, supportive community,” says Rhonda Kent, director of housing and family support. “Sharing stories is a great way to do of that. Some people may find the podcasts difficult to listen to as they are raw and emotional. These are the stories of our neighbours and friends who have faced ordinary unfortunate events, or, in some cases, extreme circumstances that have put them face-to-face with homelessness. We want to give these stories a home because we believe they will help us become more aware and engage in the solution as a community.”

The Salvation Army not only donated land for the construction to take place on but will also help identify families in need of housing.

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